LYNGBY, Denmark — With reference to the announcement made May 9, Noble Corp. and The Drilling Company of 1972 A/S have provided an update on the ongoing merger control process for the business combination announced last November.
Noble has signed an asset purchase agreement to sell five jackup rigs (Noble Hans Deul, Noble Sam Hartley, Noble Sam Turner, Noble Houston Colbert and Noble Lloyd Noble, together the “Remedy Rigs”) to a newly formed subsidiary of Shelf Drilling Ltd. for $375 million.
The sale of the Remedy Rigs, which is subject to approval of the U.K. Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), is intended to address the potential concerns identified by the CMA in the Phase 1 review of the business combination.
On May 9, the CMA published its decision that there are reasonable grounds for believing that a sale to a suitable purchaser of the Remedy Rigs, together with sufficient supporting infrastructure, might be accepted by the CMA to address its concerns related to lessening of competition created by the business combination. The duration and outcome of the CMA review process remains uncertain.
If Shelf Drilling, the Remedy Rig sale agreement and the remedy proposal are accepted by the CMA, closing of the business combination is expected to occur near the end third-quarter 2022.
In connection with the merger, the parties expect Noble to launch the planned exchange offer for shares of Maersk Drilling in August 2022. In addition to the CMA approval, completion of the merger remains subject to acceptance by holders of at least 80% of Maersk Drilling shares, listing of Noble shares on the NYSE and Nasdaq Copenhagen, and other customary conditions.